I have not been this excited about homschooling since before the twins were born!
So, here is how today went. For my birthday present my husband set out to help me get our workbox system functional. He so graciously rearranged some furniture in our homeschool room to make it a bit more functional. He cleared off the bookshelves for me (I have arthritis in my back and cannot do much lifting as it is very painful). He made room for the banker’s boxes on the shelves. We have three bookshelf units. Each unit has three shelves. The babies can reach the bottom two shelves so those are filled with baby books and toys. The top shelf on each unit held our books (that he moved). I only had seventeen boxes so the older two boys got six boxes each and Malachi got five. He put all the boxes on the shelves.
Then the fun really began. We started pulling out all the fun materials that we had neglected over the last couple of years. Some of it we shoved right into the empty workboxes (to rearrange later) as the table was overflowing. I was getting excited. This is why we homeschool – to make learning fun! I found so many little things I picked up last year when I was pregnant and they got waylaid along the way. So with all the materials on the table and keeping babies out of everything we realized we needed a new way to organize everything. We had a dresser sitting in our hall that needed a home – into the homeschool room it went. Another cupboard that the babies were getting into went on top of it. Wow! More room in the school room – who knew? We found some really fun things (don’t worry… I’ll tell you what is in the boxes for tomorrow).
I numbered the boxes 1-6, 1-6, and 1-5 for the three boys. I taped the labels onto the boxes. Then I was thinking about a system for knowing when the boxes were completed. I came up with a large paperclip over the top edge of the banker’s boxes. I wrote out numbers to match the numbers I taped to the boxes and slipped them under the paperclip. The idea being that they take the number off of the box when it is completely finished. Then I can look at a glance and see where everyone is at. It isn’t super pretty, but it is functional for now. I will mention that some of our activities fell out their boxes when I put them into the workboxes simply because they were vertical and no longer horizontal. I reorganized those activities by bagging up the small pieces and then puting them into the workboxes.
When that was all done, I created a chart to keep track of everything going into the workboxes. This will also help me to remember who did what and when I need to rotate the materials between the brothers. I hand wrote the chart for each of the boys since I am out of printer ink, but I made one that you can download if you want it. I made my chart to work with 6 boxes and 1-3 items in each box. The chart is for me mostly (not the kids) and includes simple instructions as needed for the activities in the boxes. The chart will also be a good record of our homeschooling for portfolio time (which is coming up again in a couple of weeks).
I am in love with the system. The proof will be in the pudding tomorrow morning when we start and I can see how the boys respond.
I hope to take pictures tomorrow of everything thing that I put in our boxes. I will at least write out the list tomorrow. I am typing in the dark on my laptop as babes are sleeping. I am tired and I couldn’t read my notes now if I wanted to type.
How did you set up your workbox system?